Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Modern Day Crucifixions

I make a point of participating in Pax Christi's Stations of the Cross held at noon on Good Friday outside the state capitol building.  The stations, as practiced at this service, bring the story of Christ's journey to his crucifixion and death into the modern era.  It mentions the use of firing squads, electric chairs, gas chambers and lethal injection.

It also talks of the other ways in which we crucify people.  How do we treat those who are poor?  How do we treat the sexual minorities?   What are we doing for those who have mental illnesses?  Why are we still waging wars?  And even though the liturgy of this service is very heavily geared toward Roman Catholics, the dozen or so people who gather are coming from Protestant, Jewish and Buddhist traditions as well.  Because the overall sentiment is one that is universal: how are we loving one another and helping to build each other up rather than tear ourselves apart.

For me, I dedicated my participation in this service to the memory of David Kato, the slain gay Ugandan civil rights leader.  On a day when we were commemorating the wrongful death of Jesus, I couldn't help think about that particular execution, and my continued prayers for the people of Uganda that they may be delivered from the homophobia and evils that led to Kato's murder.   In our Good Friday service, I was struck that one of the prayers listed under those who have not received the Gospel of Christ was "For those who in the name of Christ have persecuted others.... that God will open their hearts to the truth, and lead them to faith and obedience."  May it be so in those corners of the earth where people have used the Bible as a baton instead of as a book.  May God's love remain kindled in the hearts of those who have been persecuted because of love, so that they are able to stay true to themselves and remember that those who are using religion as a weapon against them "know not what they are doing."    

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You were a busy girl during Holy Week. Including hauling away the base of the Cross for Good Friday.